Photo-Realistic Drawings by Kelvin Okafor


Tinie Tempah by Kelvin Okafor

You'd be forgiven if you thought that these are photographs. In fact, they are "photo-realism" art, drawn with charcoal and graphite pencil by London-based artist Kelvin Okafor. It took him about a hundred hour to do each drawing. Color us impressed!


Zoe Saldana


Princess Diana


King Hussein of Jordan


Mother Theresa

As you see above, Kelvin has drawn celebrities and famous people, but his work that struck me the most are those of ordinary folks. Take this drawing of Aisha II, which Kelvin has posted on YouTube:

A model named Mana (as blogged by Kelvin):

Or of his friend's dog named Storm:

View Kelvin's Blog, Flickr, and YouTube for more


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Well, yes. I think part of the interest of the work is that he Kelvin thinks it's worthwhile to spend hundreds of hours making drawings look like photographs. It's an impressive amount of work for an effect that, as Sandi points out, could be accomplished much more easily with a cheap digital camera. If we look at the drawings and ask "Why?", as Sandi does, then the things have accomplished something.
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Yes, a tremendous amount of work goes into these things and it takes some real skill to pull off the "fool the eye" aspect of them. Still, I think Sandi's question is a good one, and perhaps it's the one such artists invite us to ask: Is the effect worth the expenditure of time and talent? Kind if an existential question, isn't it? :)
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There's also a point of talent: many modern art today look like they could be drawn by five year olds. Kelvin is obviously a VERY talented artist (like Chuck Close, Ralph Goings, and so on)
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